1. What problem(s) does this idea solve? Why do you need this idea implemented? Provide as many problems or use cases as possible.
Like every subscription-based newspaper across America, the New Hampshire Union Leader must transition our users from paying for print to paying for online content. The online content subscribers will pay for are exclusive news and enterprise stories; the premium information that you dedicate a reporter's day or week to, not just a few minutes to rewrite a press release.
A metered paywall is fine for commoditized news like accidents, fires, crimes, etc. -- the info all media outlets in a region will share. But on premium content -- a story we might have invested hundreds of dollars in and only we have it -- these we want to make access subscriber-only with a hard paywall that can be applied selectively on a story-by-story basis.
Presently, TownNews allows us to assign the level of paywall needed to any defined section in the taxonomy of sections and carve out niches within that hierarchy. For example, unionleader.com has a hard paywall on Business and Politics, and a metered paywall in the Crime and Safety sections. Further, within Politics and Business are sponsored subsections that are excluded from the paywall because an advertiser is footing the bill. All of that works great.
The problem we're seeing arises when a premium story we have invested in naturally falls into a section such as crime, safety, education, etc., that is a metered paywall section. At present we must either allow access to that premium content through the metered paywall or intentionally miscategorize that content to place it into a section that has the hard paywall needed.
A section-based paywall is fine in bulk, but in the particulars is unable to convey Premium status to the content we are most invested in in a manner that is quick and simple.
What we are proposing is that a keyword such as #premium and/or #hardpaywall be established that can be applied by our editors on an article-by-article basis to allow us to lock out non-subscribers regardless of section. Our editors are already accustomed to using keyword #nofollow on Washington Post stories, so such an approach is easy to train against.
We believe such a feature will not only be valuable to the Union Leader, but to newspapers you serve across America who like us will survive only by getting readers to subscribe.
2. How often would you use this feature? Every day.
3. How many people in your organization would use this feature? About 20 on the news team.
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